Petit grain is derived from the leaves and twigs of the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium), and has a fresh, green, and slightly woody aroma. It is named after the fact that the oil used to be extracted from unripe oranges, or petit grain in French. Today, the oil is typically extracted using steam distillation. Petit grain is often used in men's fragrances and in colognes, as it adds a fresh, crisp note.
Neroli, on the other hand, is extracted from the flowers of the bitter orange tree. The flowers are harvested in the spring and early summer, and the oil is obtained through steam distillation. Neroli oil has a rich, floral fragrance with a slightly bitter undertone, and it is commonly used in perfumery as a top or middle note. It has a floral and slightly spicy aroma, with a hint of bitterness. Neroli is named after the Italian princess Anna Maria de la Tremoille, who was the Countess of Nerola and popularized the use of bitter orange blossom oil in the 17th century. Today, neroli is often used in women's fragrances and is a popular ingredient in perfumes due to its unique floral and spicy notes.
Both petit grain and neroli are important ingredients in perfumery and are used in a wide range of fragrances, from colognes and men's fragrances to women's fragrances and perfumes.